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Book Title: Luther: Biography of a Reformer|
The author of the book: Frederick Nohl
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 25.75 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.1
Edition: Concordia Publishing House
Date of issue: September 1st 2003
ISBN 13: 9780758606518
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Rewritten Sept. 28th, 2011
This book is a highly selective biography of Martin Luther by an author who wishes to glorify the originator of a progressive branch of Christianity, whilst carefully omitting all criticism of a man who was anti-semitic, despised gypsies and thought that peasants should remain in their feudal place serving the nobility whose positions had been ordained if not by God, then at least by his paymasters by whose patronage he prospered.
Many atrocities in the Peasants' War of 1525 were committed in his name with his knowledge. The peasants sought to establish a classless society. Luther sympathised with their aims in print but when it came to backing them, he urged the nobility whose society he so enjoyed, to condemn them and put them down as the "mad dogs" they were. Luther made it plain that the peasants should limit their actions in their revolt to those allowed by the authorities. (Since it is authorities who repress people who feel the need to revolt, exactly what actions would be open to them he doesn't make clear).
His sermons hammered home the primacy of core Christian values such as love, patience, charity, and freedom and reminded people that trust in God would bring about change, and that violence was to be abhorred. This he limited to interactions between Christians and did not extend to others. More, his hatred of Jews was so extreme he advocated extreme violence against them.
The book entirely leaves out even a mention that Martin Luther was the inspiration of Hitler, of the Nazis, who used his statements on Jews and what should be done to them as their own propaganda. It is a whitewash job, it exists to praise Luther for reforming what he saw as the corrupt Catholic church, and doesn't address the entirely evil side of him at all.
(As do all other anti-semites, Luther 'forgot' that Jesus was a Jew and practiced Judaism. Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." [KJV]. Jesus preached only to Jews and St. Paul, quite some time later, directed his interpretation of this fulfillment towards Romans. However, there is nothing in St. Paul's reformation that hints at or encourages violence towards Jews. Luther's great hatred gets its inspiration from nothing biblical.)
I wonder if in five hundred years books will be written about Hitler, Milosevic even on down to Jesse Helms and Jerry Falwell and will laud them as reformers and dismiss in a line or two their essentially hateful, evil character because it doesn't suit the myths that people will have come to accept about them? Is this the destiny of all those so well-beloved by an influential group that their names remain alive centuries after their deaths, that their good points will be lauded and their sins, even when as extreme as Luther's, will be buried along with their bodies?
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